SUCCESS STORIES with DEMO DOCTOR
"I got my first job as a Pre-Sales Architect."
As a software architect and developer I was interested in becoming a pre sales architect, as a really enjoy the interaction with customers. The book from Chris really helped me making that decision. It looks like Chris started out with the same motivation for getting into sales, and the same concerns about it as I did. The key point is really to admit, that "It is ok, to be in sales.
I decided to interview for a pre sales architect position, and as part of this process I had to do a product demo, which I have never done before. This is where the training from Chris really payed off: I learned that the key for a great demo is, to tell a story to the customer and to rehearsed very well.
It turns out, the company liked my presentation. I was told that other candidates would start be showing the latest cool new feature, while my presentation laid out the problems a customer faces, and showed the product in a way, that was engaging for both a technical and a non technical audience. So I got my first job as a pre sales architect.
As it says in Chris' book: "Sales people are from Venus, Pre-Sales Architects are form Mars".
- Tomi Schumacher, Solutions Architect at Databricks
"They were so impressed that they made me an offer that same day."
Last year I was told by my employer that their sales department was struggling and, since I was looking for an opportunity to increase my salary, the CEO thought it best if I looked for a bigger company where I would have room to grow.
I had been with this company for 17 years from the time it was a small startup in 2002. During that time I had started out as technical support, then moved into project management, then became the implementation manager, and finally I was a sales engineer since 2017. The company had gone from the three owners, a developer, and me to almost 100 employees during the time I was there. I accepted the challenge to find another company to grow with and they gave me three months pay so I could focus on finding my ideal sales engineering job. So the clock was ticking and I started to apply for all the sales engineering positions I found with larger companies that were growing quickly.
I found three that I liked and one in particular called Impartner. I did several interviews with the three companies. My interviews with Impartner went well as they liked my past experience with project management and implementations, but my presentation skills needed some work. They suggested I present on their software and gave me a week to prepare the presentation.
In preparation for the presentation I reached out to Chris for help. I had read his book, The Six Habits of Highly Effective Sales Engineers, and I had used the information from his book during my interviews. I prepared a slide deck and did a practice presentation with Chris. He offered his feedback and suggestions on exactly what I needed to improve. I took those suggestions and made adjustments to my presentation. I practiced the presentation a few more times with the suggested changes. Then I did a demo for the Impartner team and they were so impressed that they made me an offer that same day which I happily accepted.
Chris is a great mentor and I would recommend his coaching program to anyone looking to improve their sales engineering skills. Using his suggestions and feedback I was able to get the dream job I was looking for and did so in less than two months!
- David Cheney, Sales Engineer, Impartner Software
"I want to be a GREAT Sales Engineer."
In my former role, as VP of Software Engineering at a data and analytics company, I oversaw a strategic IT transformation project. I often dreaded interaction with software vendors – another tool, another vendor, another “best of breed, save the world with my solution” pitch. I quite literally avoided my phone in fear of being “vendorized”.
Immediately Chris was different. He came totally prepared, clearly having done his homework. He asked meaningful questions. We discussed my problems and objectives first, and then how the technology could support it—as opposed to the reverse. He was incredibly effective and efficient with my time and focused on business value and project success, weeding out unnecessary noise. He treated the engagement as a partnership, and together we secured the budget for the project from the CIO, as a team.
The project itself was, in essence, a two-year internal sales engagement that included running dozens of workshops with technology teams across a vast organization. We had to prove the business value of transformation and how the newly implemented process and technology were going to drive business value. The success of the project depended on getting buy in from technical principals from across the company - i.e., getting the technical win. In hindsight, I recognize that it was the implementation and practice of the six habits that, in part, made the project so successful.
About two years ago I decided to make a career change and joined a technology company as a sales engineer. Even though I had been in technology for decades, taught computer courses for years, and ran dozens of workshops, the role of SE was new to me. I was also smart enough to know that Chris is The Expert in sales engineering, and I needed his help. As such, I took the “Six Habits of Effective Sales Engineers” online course during the transition. It dramatically accelerated the learning curve and enabled me to become immediately and highly effective in the role.
What makes The Six Habits so unique is that it is such a complete and comprehensive list of tips, techniques and best practices that has been assembled and packaged in such a tight and digestible manner. Anyone in software sales, whether that’s direct sales, sales management or sales engineering, will benefit from this book. And for those of you considering the move or in transition, you need this book.
Today, I love my role as an SE. I enjoy the interaction of people and technology. I thrive on the opportunity to help customers reach their goals. I keep the Six Habits at the ready and refer to them regularly, especially before large engagements. After all, I don’t want to just be a sales engineer, I want to be a great sales engineer.
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